As to be expected I was doing fairly well on the whole ‘not acquiring a ton of books’ front up until YALC at the end of the month. To give myself some credit though I could have come away with a whole lot more than I did.
I’ll start with the e-arcs that I received via NetGalley, the first of which being Indigo Donut by Patrice Lawrence. I’ll admit that I was initially lured in by the cover design, then the title and then the author (not that I’ve read her YA Prize-winning novel Orangeboy). When I went on to read that it features a main character that grew up in the care system, has a bit of a suspense thread and includes a lot of music references, I thought I’d try my luck at requesting it and it paid off. The novel came out last month so it’s already out there if it sounds of interest to you.
Next up is Here We Are Now by Jasmine Warga and let’s be honest, the cover and author got me again (and nope, I haven’t read My Heart and Other Black Holes yet but I do own the e-book so that’s something). Much like a different e-arc I read in July, this follows a teenager who having lived without a father for all their life sets out to meet him for the first time. It’s also similar in that the father is a celebrity who isn’t exactly what they hoped for, and that the mother has kept secrets about her past. This one is out in November.
The last e-arc I received was The Temptation of Adam by Dave Connis. Also released in November, this novel has an unusual storyline in that it follows a teenage boy who is made to attend a support group for his addiction to porn. He’s also got some issues at home where his mother and sister walked out and his father is somewhat emotionally absent. It’s received good reviews so far so hopefully it lives up to them.
Sticking with non-physical books, I was browsing the Kindle store for bargains and bought Caraval by Stephanie Garber. I’m sure I don’t need to tell you much about this book as there was a huge amount of hype about it around the time of it’s release at the beginning of the year. Since then it’s received mixed reviews so at least if I don’t like it I will have only spent 99p on it.
The second bargain e-book I bought was Moxie by Jennifer Mathieu. Our protagonist Vivian has had enough of all the sexist behaviour that goes on at her high school and decides to start an anonymous zine titled Moxie, taking inspiration from her mother’s collection of Riot Grrrl materials from when she was a teenager. Fast forward a week after purchasing this and I ended up picking up a proof copy of the book at YALC. Having since read it it’s nice to have a physical copy on my shelves so I don’t mind the duplication too much.
On the topic of YALC, let’s run through the rest of the proofs that I managed to acquire. The first book I picked up was The Fandom by Anna Day which coincidentally starts off with Violet, her younger brother Nate and her two friends Alice and Katie attending Comic-Con at Olympia. They’re there to meet the stars of her favourite book/film The Gallows Dance but just as they’re having their photo taken an accident sees them transported to the world in which it takes place in. I’ve read this so look out for my wrap-up.
Next is The Exact Opposite of Okay by Laura Steven. It centers on Izzy who has to deal with the emergence of compromising photos of her with a politician’s son. There’s little online about it as it doesn’t come out until next year but so far has received positive reviews for its tackling of feminism and slut-shaming.
Despite not really knowing a ton about it I’d had The Hundred Lies of Lizzie Lovett by Chelsea Sedoti on my wishlist for a little while (although let’s be honest, it was probably because of the cover). I was therefore quite excited to see a proof up for grabs at YALC and quickly added it to my bag. From what I do know it’s about a girl who sets out to uncover the mystery surrounding the disappearance of another girl by essentially trying to become her.
I hadn’t heard of Rules of Rain by Leah Schieier but upon reading the synopsis and seeing that it’s about a teenage girl and her twin brother who is on the autistic spectrum I had to have it. From the sounds of things it’s about how Rain has taken care of Ethan for all of her life but now the tables are turned which sounds interesting.
I’m not really one for reading non-fiction but I picked up Here We Are: Feminism for the Real World for a couple of reasons. One, because I had one more option from the “choose any three proofs” from the stand I was it. Two, because I’d already collected a couple of feminist books so thought a third wouldn’t hurt. And three, I’d seen it featured in a wrap-up video by Booksandlala. The cover sums it up pretty much in that it’s a collection of discussions on feminism by a range of people in a range of formats. It’s come to my attention that the editor has been called out for aphobic/cis-centric comments so I’ll bear this in mind whilst reading.
The final proof I acquired was WaR: Wizards and Robots by will.i.am and Brian David Johnson. In the interest of full disclosure I’ll admit that I picked it up purely on the fact that will.i.am has created it (I’m not sure of the extent of his work in the actual book). It’s about – you guessed it – wizards and robots, but also has a time travel element so it should be enjoyable enough.
There’s a bit of a story surrounding my purchase of Traitor to the Throne by Alwyn Hamilton. Following the lengthy wait to get Rebel of the Sands signed at YALC last year I’d decided not to bother with the sequel this time round. In fact I hadn’t even purchased it, let alone read it, but whilst in Foyles the day before the convention I saw that they had signed copies available. I therefore decided to buy it there and save myself the hassle of queuing. Granted it’s not personalised but I can live with that.
The final book of this haul is Our Dark Duet by V. E. Schwab. I bought This Savage Song (the first book in the duology) last year but didn’t want to read it until the conclusion was released. Therefore once Our Dark Duet came out this June I was finally able to read the two books, just ahead of the opportunity to get them signed at YALC. With this particular book being a sequel I can’t say much because of spoilers but the duology takes place in a world where acts of violence creates monsters, following a human girl and a male monster.
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Phew, this took a lot longer to write than I thought it would. Thirteen books is quite a large haul for me and I probably won’t have one this big for some time. I’m aiming to get through my entire TBR before I buy anything else, with the exception of maybe treating myself to something from Shakespeare and Company whilst I’m on holiday this month.